Pensioner arrested for R4.7m UIF-Ters ‘fraud’

This bring to 14 the number of people who have been arrested linked to Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fraud.
Image: Leon Swart/123rf.com

The Hawks on Sunday arrested a 62-year-old man for allegedly pocketing R4.7m from the Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) temporary employer/employee relief (Ters) scheme.

Hawks spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said the man would face fraud, theft and money laundering charges.

“The pensioner was arrested after he failed to disclose that he became a instant R4.7m millionaire. The money was meant to remunerate employees of a certain company to be disclosed in court papers,” Mulaudzi said.

This bring to 14 the number of people who have been arrested in connection with alleged Ters fraud.

“It is understood the suspect worked for the same company and allegedly used the reference number from his previous employers to apply for his UIF payout. It was later found, after numerous inquiries by the company, that the money was paid but was redirected to the suspect’s account.

“A case was registered and almost R4.6m has already been recovered. He allegedly used almost R100,000 for himself,” said Mulaudzi.

The man is expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court on Monday.

Also on Monday, in a separate case, two police officers – Sergeant Thokozane Mchunu, 34, and Sergeant Nqobile Witness Mzimela, 39, will appear in court alongside 25-year-old Sboniso Percical Khanyile after they were arrested for R692,000 in alleged Ters fraud.

According to Mulaudzi, a company, National Adhesive, applied for relief funds for their employees.

“However, it emerged that the company’s banking details were fraudulently changed and the R692,000 was redirected to another bank account. It was ultimately found the account belonged to Mchunu, from the Durban Central Tactical Response Team,” said Mulaudzi.

Mchunu is alleged to have transferred the money to Mzimela and Khanyile.

“Almost R240,000 has already been frozen. A bakkie and land were also seized and are expected to be forfeited to the state,” said Mulaudzi.

Hawks boss Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya hailed the pensioner’s arrest as another breakthrough by the team.

“Pensioners are supposed to be role models to their children and grandchildren. Without suggesting the suspect’s guilt, this behaviour suggests a bad role model,” said Lebeya.

 

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